Ahead of the Democratic primary election, gubernatorial candidate Chad “Chig” Martin said he has received support from across the state.

“I started off ranked fifth and now I am in second,” according to recent polling by Emerson, Martin said. “The pendulum is going my way.

“Voters have been enthused by my positive message. We need leadership to find solutions for the needs of the state.”

Martin is challenging incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey.

“We can do better,” Martin said in response to how he hoped to unseat the popular Republican incumbent.

Martin is White, and most Alabama Democratic primary voters are Black. Martin emphasized how important it was for him to be able to reach out beyond racial lines.

“The Black vote is either going to sink me or make me swim,” Martin acknowledged. “I have great support from the Black community. My message is resonating.”

While inflation is high, Martin supports suspending the gas tax but has no issue with it as a whole.

“A governor has very little control over inflation,” Martin said. “The gas tax is an extra dime a gallon. That isn’t hardly anything.

“I would suspend the gas tax while we are experiencing these high prices, but I would not get rid of it. We still need the money to build roads.”

Martin said that education was a big priority to him and insisted that he would be able to work with a Republican Legislature to do “whatever it takes to improve education. One of the things is an education lottery.”

Martin said that Alabama’s neighboring states all have the lottery and that he favored implementing a lottery as well with all of the proceeds going towards education.

“Alabama has not even mastered the basics of running an education system,” Martin said. “We need to take the politics out of it.”

Martin said that he and other Democrats are having a difficult time getting their message out because “unfortunately Democratic candidates do not get a lot of money contributed [to their campaigns] in this state.”

Martin said that if he wins the Democratic primary, he will try to start raising money from national sources that support Democratic candidates ahead of the November general election.

He emphasized that while he “is a conservative Democrat,” he favors “decriminalization” of marijuana.

Martin said that campaigning has been great for his CBD and hemp store in Enterprise and that because of the campaign and the attention it has brought to his business, he is getting orders from all over the state. Martin also owns a mobile home park and is a country music singer. He has one adult daughter.

“I am expecting to be part of a runoff,” Martin said. Martin said that he previously was an independent and hopes that on election day a lot of independents would vote for him.

Yolanda Rochelle Flowers, Malika Sanders-Fortier, Arthur Kennedy, Martin and Doug “New Blue” Smith are all running in the Democratic primary on Tuesday.

Polls will open at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7:00 p.m. that night. There is no early voting, over the internet voting, or same-day registration in Alabama. Voters may only vote at the polling place where they are assigned. This is necessary because there are different races in every county and sometimes between precincts and Alabama uses paper ballots. Voters must bring their valid photo I.D. with them to the polls. If they do not have a valid photo I.D. then they can get a free voter I.D. from your county board of registrars or by calling the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office.

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